Airport attack toll rises to 45 with death of child
THE death of a Jordanian child has brought the toll from last week’s Istanbul airport attack to 45.
Ankara has pointed blame at the Islamic State group for the June 28 gun and suicide bomb rampage at Ataturk international airport.
Dogan news agency reported that four-year-old Jordanian national Rayyan Mohammed, one of more than 200 people injured in the attacks, had died in hospital.
The Istanbul governor’s office said 52 people were still in hospital, including 20 in intensive care.
The child’s death came as a man sparked chaos by shouting “Suicide bomber!” in a crowded Istanbul market on July 2, with the city still reeling from the attacks.
One woman was lightly injured in the panic in Umraniye, a neighbourhood on Istanbul’s Asian side.
The airport carnage was the latest in a string of deadly attacks to hit Turkey in the past year blamed on either IS jihadists or Kurdish rebels.
There has been no claim of responsibility, but officials and analysts say the evidence points to an IS strike.
“It is clear that this was Daesh,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, using another name for IS. “Their place is in hell.”
Istanbul police have arrested 24 people in connection with the attack including 15 foreigners, state-run news agency Anadolu said.
Authorities have said they believe the three attackers were a Russian, an Uzbek and a Kyrgyz national.
Anadolu on July 1 named two of them as Rakim Bulgarov and Vadim Osmanov, but did not list their nationalities.
Central Asia’s former Soviet republics have been a major source of foreign jihadists travelling to fight with IS and other extremist groups in Iraq and Syria.
Turkish media have identified a Chechen, Akhmed Chatayev, as the mastermind of the attacks.
He is accused of planning two bombings in the city earlier this year in the Sultanahmet tourist district and the Istiklal shopping street, both of which killed foreigners. –
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (centre) visits the site of the Istanbul Ataturk Airport attack on July 2.